I think I might be obsessed with Thai food you guys……..
Like, if I just found out I only had a few days to live I’d probably make eating some Thai one of my top priorities. Have you ever thought about that, by the way? What would you eat if nothing else mattered and it was all about what you actually love to eat. If you could take away every other factor (nutrition, expense, calories, availability, social pressures….), if none of those things existed what would you eat just because you genuinely love the taste?
I find it hard to decide what I personally favor and you probably do too, becuase all of those things play a part in what foods have become our favorites. It totally reminds me of a part on Gilmore Girls when Loralai is trying to figure out her dilemma of whether or not she actually likes pop-tarts because she does or because they were something her mother never let her have. That is such a hilarious show.
I think I can honestly say that I love Thai foo for it just being thai food. The fact that this stir-fry is also really healthy and pretty easy to make is just an added bonus to that love. Yeah, I definitely would put it near the top of my list, bt maybe not at number one, I’d have to seriously consider what would be first. So what would be on the top of your list? It’s a hard call to make isn’t it?
So for some reason we’ve never been able to find cashews here in a place that we could buy them regularly. I’ve only seen them a couple of times sporadically and they were always outrageously priced, but we found them the other day at our favorite produce stop and I’m so excited about it. I’ve been debating over what to use them in for the longest time, but I finally decided to do Thai first because it just sounded amazing.
Also, my mom bought me some dried lemongrass a few months ago and I had totally forgotten about it until I found it lost under a pile of ingredients. I can’t get fresh lemongrass here, unfortunately, but I thought if I infused into rice it would be almost as good. If you can find fresh, I’d totally say to use that because it would probably be even more amazing, but using a tea steeper to keep the hard pieces from getting lost in the rice seemed to work really well. Another also, she found dried lime leaves, which are a Thai flavor staple, at the same place she got the lemongrass so they were destined to go together in a recipe.
By now you’re probably thinking that my ingredient list is forever long. Okay, I know I put a lot of things into this but some of minor things can be omitted, I listed them as optional, but I’d reccomend using as many of the items as you can because a huge part of good thai is all the different layers of flavor.
- 2 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice
- 6 cups water (plus more if needed)
- 1 tablespoon dried lemongrass
- 5 dried lime leaves
- 2-3 teapoons sea salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup whole cashews
- 1/4 fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced
- 1 large zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup baby corn
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
- fresh limes and additional whole cashews for serving, if desired
- Pour 6 cups of water into a medium pot and place lime leaves and lemongrass inside a mesh tea steeper/infuser; bring to a soft boil. Add salt and rice, cover with lid, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente, about 30 minutes. Add more water if needed. Turn off heat when done and cover to keep warm. Remove tea steeper before serving.
- While rice is cooking, start on the stir-fry. Combine, garlic, ginger, add cashews, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until finely minced (alternatively you can chop well by hand). Set mixture aside for a moment and add sesame oil to a wok or large pan set over high heat. Add onions, peppers and carrots and cook until onions are starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add zucchini, baby corn, and cashew mixture to pan and cook about 5 minutes more until zuccini is tender.
- Pour in the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, coconut milk, chicken stock, chili garlic paste, and red curry paste and reduce heat to medium low. Whisk cornstarch and water in a small dish until smooth and add to wok. Stir sauce gently for 6-7 minutes(ish) until it begins to thicken. Stir in chicken and allow to simmer in sauce until warmed.
- Serve over rice and top with cashews and lime juice if desired.